I didn’t dream of being a Cody App coach when I was a kid, mainly because it didn’t exist yet there are a few specific reasons why I took the plunge in the midst of an epic Instagram war between the yogis and the commercial yoga industry. If you’re new to the world of commercial yoga, Cody App is an online platform that creates high-quality yoga and fitness videos for students to practice in the comfort of their own home. Real talk, the brand has done a good job at making yoga accessible without the need for a studio, however, their recent acquisition with Alo would say otherwise.
Ok, keep up with me here. Alo is the fitness apparel brand that recently acquired Cody. Some argue that because of the lack of diversity and multi-shape models in it’s branding Alo creates an inaccessible and unrealistic depiction of yoga.
Shortly after Alo’s acquisition of Cody a legal battle ensued between former Cody coach and my colleague, Dana Falsetti, better known as Nola Trees on Instagram. Dana is a certified #girlboss and advocate for women and full-figured yogis. When Alo bought Cody, Dana no longer wanted to be associated with the brand because of Alo’s minimal representation of her and the community of plus size women she advocates for.
You still with me? Long story short Alo sued Dana for breach of contract – I think – Dana fired back. Things got messy and were finally settled out of court. However, in the midst of the settlement Instagram yogis lost their damn minds! In addition, during the lawsuits and the attack of the social media yoga mob my Divine Hatha Series premiered on Cody App. #FML
I was so proud when the Divine Hatha Series launched on Cody. Their team and I had recorded 6, 30 minute sequences, shot BTS, photos, promos and more in only 2 days. It was brilliant and exhausting! Yet every promo post Cody shared on IG about myself and Divine Hatha was riddled with negative comments about Alo and Dana’s unfortunate lawsuit.
You could say the Divine Hatha Series was somewhat overlooked, but it was also an ideal time to be birthed into the world of Cody and here’s why…
When Cody first told me about the Alo acquisition, I was hesitant to move forward. That is until I realized to initiate change you have to be the change, that included no longer allowing my preconceived notions to dictate my experiences.
The acquisition introduced new possibilities for Cody to feature practitioners from all over the globe, teaching yoga in multiple languages and various countries. That included my country of origin, Nigeria – I knew I wanted to part of what would be global inclusivity.
Yoga instructors don’t get paid shit. With rates starting at $25 an hour for a 60 minute class, living on food stamps and public assistance is typical for teachers and has been the norm for me. So when I was offered the opportunity to be paid well for what I’ve been gifted to share the answer was yes!
I put every cent back into my business, continued education practices and of course paying my bills.
Learn the Ropes
As a yogi the practice comes first and business comes last. However when you’re building a yoga or wellness brand you need to learn the business in order to operate it mindfully.
My lack of business know-how naturally led me to say yes to seemingly sucky collaborations. It was then that I decided if I was going to learn how to create a wellness business separate from my personal yoga practice I would learn from yogis exercising discernment in this very area.
Cody has amazing coaches, some of which I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with, including Dana and Jessamyn Stanley. Both these women have provided guidance on building a sound yoga business by remaining authentic, staying committed to the practice, listening to your intuition and brokering mutually benefiting deals that ensure you’re getting what you’re worth!
Support the Culture
Because yoga has always been a personal practice I never considered who I was representing. Now, as a Nigerian-American woman of color, I understand that when I practice I hold space for someone else who identifies with me to practice as well, in other words, representation is a big deal.
The more I penetrate the white wellness bubble as a hip-hop loving, Naija yogi the more accessible the practice becomes for those that identify as other.
Alo or not, I became a Cody App coach because their platform and other virtual studios like Yoga Green Book are supporting the vision of accessible yoga at your fingertips. Not sure where this journey will lead but I hope you’re coming along!
As of today Cody App is now Alo Moves. Let the shift begin…